The Women’s Foundation of California held their Board meeting in San Diego on Friday, February 26. A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to highlighting and recognizing the impressive work of the members and grant partners of Women Give San Diego. With over 130 dynamic and diverse women, a tiered giving structure, and a commitment to inter-generational collaboration and thriving leadership teams providing meaningful engagement opportunities, Women Give San Diego is in its own category among the Women’s Foundation of California giving circles.
In the afternoon, the Board received an overview of the work of Women Give San Diego and its grant partners as they discussed the unique challenges—and opportunities—impacting women and girls in San Diego. The afternoon began with a presentation from Leap to Success. Kelly Grimes and Lauraine Esparza gave an overview of Leap to Success’s programs and successes thus far, while the past program participant and current staff member, LaKesha Sexton, shared her inspiring story.
After lunch, a panel comprised of WGSD members and another WGSD grant partner discussed the group’s unique attributes and the impact they’re having on the economic security of women and girls in San Diego. The panel featured:
- Gayle Tauber, Co-Founder of Women Give San Diego
- Sheona Som, Co-Chair of Community Engagement Team
- Sarah Dawe, Co-Chair of Advocacy Team
- Carmen Chavez, Executive Director of Casa Cornelia Law Center & WGSD grantee
- Moderator: Julie Dubick, Board Member of Women’s Foundation of California, Founding Member of Women Give San Diego
The panelists provided insight on their leadership roles within WGSD, team goals, collaboration with grant and community partners and keeping members informed and involved. Gayle Tauber spoke about WGSD’s unique intergenerational model and why it has been so successful. Sheona Som and Sarah Dawe gave an overview of the Community Engagement and Advocacy Committees and the impressive work they’ve been doing. And Carmen Chavez highlighted the work of Casa Cornelia and its relationship with Women Give San Diego. There was also discussion about challenges and opportunities for WGSD as the group moves into its seventh year. Board members were especially interested in exploring how WGSD and the foundation could strengthen their partnership and leverage resources.
Impact was another key area of focus throughout the retreat. Board members were introduced to three WGSD grantees. As previously mentioned, Leap to Success shared success stories from women who have benefitted from their empowerment programs. Casa Cornelia Law Center highlighted the issues that impact immigrant women, specifically those that are victims of human and civil rights violations. Board members then spent an afternoon at one of the Safe Parking Program lots served by Dreams for Change and learned about the transitional homeless population in San Diego. During the visit they heard from CEO Teresa Smith who talked about her program’s vision, reach and future plans. Everybody in attendance left feeling inspired and proud to know that such visionary leaders and organizations operate in San Diego and are supporting the most vulnerable communities among us.
The Board and staff of the Women’s Foundation of CA ended the day inspired and encouraged by the work of Women Give San Diego members and grant partners. Thank you to all the members who worked so hard in their leadership and to organize this wonderful afternoon together, including Linda Katz, Gayle Tauber, Julie Dubick, Morgan Justice-Black and Sabrina Martucci Johnson.
For more information about Women’s Foundation of California, visit http://womensfoundca.org.